Thursday, August 20, 2009

Will health reform hurt Social Security?

Ed Morrissey thinks so and has some smart folks backing him up. Morrissey refers to a new paper by Syl Schieber and Steven Nyce, which argues that health legislation is likely to increase rather than reduce health costs, and could do so significantly. If so, these costs are in part borne by workers through reduced wages, and these reduced wages mean less tax revenue for Social Security. Morrissey says "The Nyce-Schieber study's scenario that uses the Medicare experience shows that the reform will increase SSA deficits by as much as 25 percent in the aggregate over the next 75 years, hastening insolvency or massive taxation and benefit cuts."

Morrissey's conclusion, backed by Chuck Blahous of the Hudson Institute, is that senior group AARP is being foolish in backing health legislation, which would both reduce funding for Medicare and hurt Social Security's financing.

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